States don’t usually stand for protecting animals from slaughter when millions are fed by the meat industry, which also makes a fortune by providing meat to non-veg consumers. Yet, some states in India have enacted laws that protect the cow breed from slaughter – cow being a holy animal in Hindu religion. This is being seen as a great achievement by Hindus and animal rights supporters while Muslims, who consider cow breed as halal (Arabic equivalent for kosher), are unhappy over the slaughter law in these states.
Earlier this year, the state of Madhya Pradesh in India competed the enactment of the bill presented a couple years ago that asked for ban on cow slaughter in the state. This has become a law now whereby slaughtering cows or its progeny of any age will be punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a monetary fine worth 5000 rupees.
The state of Karnataka had already enforced legal ban on cow slaughter and passed the law in March 2010 to ban the slaughter of cows in the state. Rajasthan and Gujarat also had banned cow slaughter earlier, tending to the long-held longing of Hindus and other vegetarian citizens to see a country free of slaughter of the animal considered sacred by hundreds of millions. The tradition of not killing cows is reported to date back to centuries ago, even in times of some Muslim rulers of India who banned cow slaughter in the empire.
Today, the religious rift in secular India seems have grown a little as some Muslims in parts of India raised voices of protest against the legal ban on cow slaughter. Besides being part of their routine diet, cows and bulls are slaughtered en masse on the occasion of Eid-al-Adha which is celebrated as the day of sacrifice in the memory of Abraham’s sacrifice according to Muslim (and Judo-Christian) traditions. Hinduism, on the other hand, emphasizes vegetarianism and discourages eating meat, particularly the meat of cow breed.